THE NEW PARADIGM
This weekend we learned that if we want to discover God’s plan for our lives, we need to start by embracing the new paradigm of Jesus—the paradigm of real love that leads to sacrificial service.
Here is your assignment.
This week we will . . .
• EXPLORE: Romans 8:29; Colossians 3:9-10; Ephesians 4:21-24 & 5:1-2
• READ: The Purpose Driven Life, Day 22: “Created to Be Like Christ” & Day 33: “How Real Servants Act”
• REFLECT: On God’s Vision for Transformation and Jesus’ Paradigm of Sacrificial Service
Explore the following passages in the New Living Translation (NLT). (You can find this version on the YouVersion Bible app or at biblegateway.com.) As you read, ask yourself: What do these passages say about God‘s vision for our lives? Also, jot down any key words, phrases, or statements that stand out to you—and then answer the questions below in your journal.
• Romans 8:29
• Colossians 3:9-10
• Ephesians 4:21-24 & 5:1-2
1) What similarities do you see between these passages?
2) How would you summarize God’s vision for our lives based on these passages?
3) As Christ-followers, we are called to “live a life of love.” How have you seen this lived out in the new community of King Jesus?
Read Day 22: “Created to Be Like Christ” (pp. 171-178) and Day 33: "How Real Servants Act" (pp. 254-262.) If you are using Kindle or Audible, you can find these “Days” in the Table of Contents (Kindle) or Chapters (Audible).
1) Take a couple minutes and review your notes from this weekend’s message. What were one or two of the most helpful insights, principles, or lessons from this message, and why?
2) This weekend we discussed the story of Jesus washing His disciple’s feet. What can we learn about Jesus and His heart from this event? Can you think of a modern-day example of this type of love?
3) In Day 22 of The Purpose Driven Life, Rick writes,
You were created to become like Christ.
From the very beginning, God’s plan has been to make you like his Son, Jesus. This is your destiny and the . . . purpose of your life. . . God’s ultimate goal for your life on earth is not comfort, but character development. He wants you to grow up spiritually and become like Christ. . .
-The Purpose Driven Life, pp. 171 & 172
How will this insight change the way we live (e.g. our priorities, relationships, attitudes, careers, finances, etc.) if we truly believe it?
4) Look back at the section called “God’s Spirit Working in You” on Day 22 in The Purpose Driven Life (pp. 173-177 or Audible 5:44-14:16). Based on your reading in this section, what is the Holy Spirit’s role in our personal transformation? What is our role?
5) In Day 33 of The Purpose Driven Life (“How Real Servants Act”), Rick writes,
We serve God by serving others.
The World defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige, and position. If you can demand service from others, you have arrived. In our self-serving culture with it’s me-first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept.
Jesus, however, measured greatness by how many people you serve, not how many people serve you. This is so contrary to the world’s idea of greatness, we have a hard time understanding it, much less practicing it.
-The Purpose Driven Life, pp. 254
Do you ever find yourself struggling with having a “me-first” attitude? What things get in the way of you being others-focused?
6) In this same chapter, Rick identifies six marks of a real servant.
• Real servants make themselves available to serve. (pp. 255).
• Real servants pay attention to needs. (pp. 256)
• Real servants do their best with what they have. (pp. 256)
• Real servants do every task with equal dedication. (pp. 257)
• Real servants are faithful to their ministry. (pp. 258)
• Real servants maintain a low profile. (pp. 259)
Which of the six principles is the easiest for you to practice, and why?
Which is the hardest for you to practice, and why?
7) In this weekend’s message, Pastor Michael identified three different “spheres” of sacrificial service.
• The Commonplace
• The New Community
• The Culture
In which of these three spheres is it most challenging for you to live a life of sacrificial service? In what specific ways can you move towards serving in this sphere this week?
8) Spend 5-10 minutes reflecting and journaling your thoughts on servanthood. Be honest with God about your heart struggles in this area.